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Russia 29, U.s. 27, Us 17, Suzanne 16, China 14, Citi 12, United States 10, Cnn 10, Cymbalta 10, Garcia 9, Pakistan 8, Washington 6, Syria 5, Anastasia 5, Florida 5, Mandela 4, Romney 4, Nadia 4, Elise 4, New York 4,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    December 28, 2012
    9:00 - 10:58am PST  

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low levels athe th s at this po time. new orleans to your west, we are seeing some weather, and that's going to be with you for the next couple hours. it's windy across the northeast but not that bad. the next story, i believe, is going to be a four-inch snowfall for new york city on saturday. now, how does it get from memphis essentially up to new york city? well, it's going to take some time. it's going to drive right up and down this ohio valley with rain showers to the south and significant snows. two to four inches all the way along the border here. i would say parts of missouri, indiana, illinois, evansville, cincinnati, columbus back into pennsylvania. we'll get to that in the next hour. alina. >> that's a lot of places, chad myers. all right, chad, thanks so much. i'm alina cho. thanks so much for watching. have a great weekend and a great new year's. "cnn newsroom" with my friend suzanne malveaux starts right now.
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i'm suzanne malveaux. welcome to our 500th edition of our show. we've got a lot to cover so let's get right to it. russia dominating our newscast this hour. for two very different reasons. first, the man, that man you see there, russia's top diplomat, he is now taking an active role in trying to end the civil war in syria. now, remember, both russia and china have blocked u.n. attempts to force out the assad regime. now the russians say they are willing to meet with the syrian opposition. it could open the door for real u.n. action on the ground, action that could mean american involvement. we've got more details in a live report in just a minute. but also, russia's president formally saying no to americans who want to adopt russian children. it is a heartbreaking development for hundreds of americans who are trying to adopt children from russian orphana orphanages. that is happening right now. president vladimir putin signed the adoption ban today. sadly, more than 50 americans who were in the final stages of adopting russian children, they
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are not going to be able to. and while those families certainly hoping that they're going to allow these adoptions to go through, the country's child rights commissioner says that those kids are going to stay in russia. so why are the russians doing this? the ban is considered a payback of sorts for an american law that was passed two weeks ago. that law puts financial restrictions on russians accused of human rights violations, bans them from also traveling to the united states. i want to bring in our matthew chance from london. and matthew, of course, you were a correspondent in moscow for a very long time here. it seems at least there's a split. you've got russia's foreign minister who actually criticized putin before he signed this ban. so what is going on here? is this a power play? and is this something that is actually going to take effect? >> i mean, you're right. there has been a very rare split in the russian political elite about this issue. there's been some criticism that was leaked to the press in russia about how some officials including the foreign minister concerned about what the impact
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this may have. also an opposition newspaper in russia has issued a petition, saying the law should not been enacted. that's had more than 100,000 signatures. obviously, it's something that divides russian society. but make no mistake, it is a power play. it's a response to that u.s. act, as you mentioned, a law signed by obama a couple of weeks ago intended to penalize, sanction russian officials connected with this particular custody case and this tax evasion case in russia. >> so matthew, this law would go into effect january 1st. is there any chance that those cases that are pending where the paperwork is finalized and where people are expecting their children, essentially, in a month or two would be allowed to go through? >> well, there is a question mark hanging over those. there are 52 children, according to the kremlin, that are in the middle of this adoption process with u.s. parents. the law, as you say, starts on
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january the 1st, but it's only a couple of days until then. so unless that can be finalized, my expectation is that that will be put on hold and indeed that's what russian officials are saying, that they don't think this law has been enacted from january the 1st, these children should be allowed to go to the united states. instead there's been a call for russian families to step forward and take on those adoptions instead. >> all right, matthew, thank you very much. russia is one of the most popular countries for american adoptions. the state department says there were 970 adoptions there last year. only china and ethiopia had more, about 2,500 from china, a little more than 1,700 from ethiopia. now, a big reason americans adopt from other countries is the sheer number of available children in russia. there are more than 650,000 orphans. compare that to the united states where there are a little more than 58,000 children living in state institutions or group homes. and adopting babies from american agencies can also be more expensive, and the adoptive
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parents may be required to have a future relationship with the birth mother. the u.s., of course, not happy with the russian president signing this adoption ban. and the united states is essentially letting russia know. i want to bring in our reporter at the state department. how are officials responding to this, and what can they possibly do? >> reporter: well, suzanne, as you know, the state department kind of handles these adoptions for u.s. parents to help them through the process, also with visa issues, citizenship issues, and issued a pretty tough statement this morning, saying the russian government's politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care. were further concerned about statements that adoptions already under way may be stopped and hope that the russian government will allow those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join their families. and as matthew said, there are
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just about 50 children that are in the pipeline right now. what senior state department officials are telling me is that they're hoping to get at least those through the pipeline, those children who have already met these parents to be able to be united with them, and then they'll work on trying to lift the whole ban, suzanne. >> elise, is there any kind of advice they're giving those families, those americans, who have already met with their potential children? what should they be doing now? >> reporter: well, right now all they can do, suzanne, is sit tight. they really -- the state department is working on these children that are in the pipeli pipeline. there is an agreement that was signed between the u.s. and russia in november governing u.s. adoptions to russia, putting out responsibilities for both sides. so what they're saying is, let's please stick to that agreement. they're in close touch with those families, and they're hoping that at least these 50 or some odd cases should be resolved. they're asking parents that are in the pipeline, stay in touch with your adoption agency and also look at adoption.state.gov.
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we'll put that on our website. that's where parents can get the very latest information about this crisis. >> all right. elise, thank you very much. appreciate it. americans whose adoptions are in imbow are very worried. they're even desperate for information. i want to talk to a family via skype. this is from dover, new jersey. this is jenny and josh johnston. they are in the process of adopting a child from russia. thank you very much for joining us here. i can only imagine -- i can't really imagine what you are going through here. the two of you already have three children, one of them adopted from ethiopia. and i understand that you are in the process of adopting a little russian girl who is hiv positive. can you tell us about your experience and where you are in the process? >> you're correct with that. thank you for having us on. we're probably smack dab in the middle of the process right now. we made a trip last month to visit little anastasia.
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we met her. she was informed that we were her parents. we told her we were going to come back for her. and she said she'd wait for us. now we're in limbo. >> what was that like to meet her? how did you know that she was the one that you wanted to welcome into your family? >> well, we went there guided by the lord. and she was the one the lord put in front of us. we don't say no to the lord. >> jenny, can you tell me what you are going through now, if you are hearing anything at all about little anastasia? >> we haven't heard anything. i think there's just the rumors flying around. i get online to try to see what i can find out, but, you know, that's not helping. i'm just a wreck. >> how have you managed -- i mean, you have obviously have a beautiful family. you've reached out. how have you managed this time of uncertainty?
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>> we pray. we cry. we get cranky. i mean, my child's a half a world away, and i feel like any mom wouldn't be able to get through that very easily. >> does she know at all -- do you have any idea if she knows what's happening, what's going on, if she realizes herself that you might not be reunited? >> we don't have any idea about that. we have to think that it's a bit of a stretch for a 4-year-old to understand that. even if you explained it fully to her, i don't think she'd understand. it's hard enough for adults to understand this situation. >> what are you willing to do to get your child? i mean, i know you feel that you belong together. and this must be very emotionally difficult time. are you going to try to get over there, or are there any kinds of things that you think you might be able to do to still make this happen?
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>> we're going to do anything we can, obviously, within the bounds of the law and international treaties. we're just hopeful that russia abides by the treaty they signed with the united states in november. and we hope the state department can get everything sorted out. we hope that the end state is that everything works out in favor of the children. >> right. >> we are looking at beautiful pictures of your family. can you tell us a little bit about why it is that you decided that you wanted to adopt? i know you have an ethiopian child you adopted and a little girl from russia. >> well, the reason we wanted to adopt, we wanted to have more children, but we realized that there was a need out there, millions of children without homes. and we had the means and the love to give. so we figured that would be the best way to serve the lord and the world. >> and what about you, jenni? >> i mean, i would fill the house up with kids. i don't know. i just love having them here. if the kid doesn't have a family
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and we're a family, i mean, why not? >> what will you do if you do not bring her, little anastasia, home? >> we'll be devastated. and then we'll probably move on because if we can do good for somebody, we will, you know, find another child hopefully that god will bring us to and adopt them and we'll keep our ears open. and if russia changes their mind, we'll go back and get her. i mean, whether this takes, you know, weeks or years, as long as these available, i will go get her. >> well, jenni and josh, thank you so much for your time. you have a beautiful, beautiful family. we certainly wish you success in trying to move forward with little anastasia and to make your family even more complete. but thank you again. we really appreciate it. we're going to be keeping up with you. we'll see if this actually does work out. thanks again. >> thank you. >> thank you. an invitation with an
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underlying message. russia moves to meet with a syrian opposition leader as syrian rebels and government troops now battle it out. plus, two of nelson mandela's grandchildren talk to cnn to stop the rumors about their grandfather's health. and later, cnn's nic robertson with this. >> reporter: a world war ii homing pigeon carrying a secret message that didn't make it home. >> we made our own codes, and clearly they're still very good today. >> reporter: a mystery wrapped in an enigma, shrouded by time. [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again.
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shh! i'll get you a rental car. i could also use an umbrella. fall in love with progressive's claims service. new year, you give it to those you love to wish them luck and sometimes to be especially lucky, they'll be written by one fred has in his hand. >> this is a chimney sweeper which is also a big tradition. it's also a symbol of good luck especially if you touch the buttons on the chimney sweeper's coat. happy new year from germany.
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in syria today, opposition activists say at least 66 people were killed in bombings, air strikes and street fighting. well, violence in syria's civil war has now intensified in just the past few weeks. and there is now something new. actual movement by russian officials to get involved at least diplomatically. the u.n. believes that the civil war has killed 40,000 people in syria. now, russia's foreign minister has now invited rebel leaders to talk. i want to bring in our nick payton walsh. he's in lebanon today. we know that a lot of reporters can't officially be in syria at the moment to sort it all out. but this does seem like a very significant development. what do we expect out of these meetings between russian officials and some of the syrian rebels? >> reporter: what's clear about this, syria has said it will talk to russia. it's a similar kind of plan that they've been pushing since june.
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the issue really here is the reaction we've already heard. the syrian opposition, their leader saying he'll talk, but not in moscow as the russians suggest. the syrian free army saying they're not willing to at all. the real issue is exactly what do the russians expect? let's hear what they had to say with their egyptian counterparts earlier. >> translator: we expressed our readiness to the meeting with the syrian coalition president. we are ready for that. and as we understand, they don't reject it either. >> translator: our position is obvious. it is very clear. we believe that the current syrian leadership will find it very difficult to find its place in the future power structure. >> reporter: what is different, though, is how things have changed on the ground. the rebels controlling much of the north and besieging parts of the capital and also russia's position. very negative in the past few weeks about how it sees the future for assad regime, suzanne. >> so how does this work out here? because we know that russia doesn't recognize the rebels as
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legitimate representatives of the syrian people. the united states and other countries actually have given them that recognition. so how strong are these talks in the position of these rebels in light of the russians' eyes? >> reporter: to be honest, the opposition is far too fractured, really, for this to have any cohesive change on the ground. really in the unlikely event that it all leads to some negotiated settlement. i think many observers are seeing this as the russians, again, trying to suggest some sort of discussion which might lead to assad step ago side. now, they're not saying that's their plan, but that's, i think, the inferred idea. many people are seeing here. and that could weaken the already loose loyalty some may have around assad in damascus, particularly given how russia have always been that staunch military backer since this began. suzanne? >> all right. this could be a game changer. we'll see how it goes. thank you very much. and of course, another story we're following, the clock ticking. little time left to reach an agreement that's going to put the brakes on those huge tax
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hikes and big spending cuts. it's going to affect all of us. president obama meeting with congressional leaders. that's going to happen this afternoon. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
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we are just four days away from the tax increases and the automatic spending cuts that are going to affect everybody's finances. the president has now called for congressional leaders to come to the white house in search of a last-minute deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, right? the president and the vice president, they're going to meet with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be
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something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> you and i are both kind of laughing about that one. so the stumbling block, of course, over raising taxes on
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the wealthiest americans, do we think that the president essentially is going to stick with that position, that that is not a bargaining chip, that that position is not going to move on the president's part? >> reporter: absolutely. that's nonnegotiable from the white house's perspective. and you know, i should point out, suzanne, i'm laughing about the situation, and you do, too, because we've seen it repeated because this gridlock in washington, you know, sort of elicits a national eye roll. but we should point out that the issues they're fighting over are the fundamental dividing lines between the two parties. and the reason it has been so hard for them to reach any kind of agreement is because they're arguing about the role of government, bigger or smaller. tax cuts, yes, or more of a social safety net for people? those are the basic foundational issues that define democrats versus republicans. and so while both sides have tried to make noises toward reaching a deal, they fundamentally break down over
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these divide over ideas. and so these are big issues. they're arguing about right now, suzanne. >> all right. jess, give us an update, if there's any progress from that afternoon meeting. we know they'll at least be sitting in the same place. maybe they'll come up with something. thanks. some u.s. companies are now seeing a big jump in exports to china, of all places. this is part of a growing demand of products made in america. our maggie lake explains. >> reporter: the factory floor at brooklyn's watermark designs is humming. as workers crank out kitchen and bathroom fixtures for customers the world over. including one growing market, china. have you been able to add people? >> we've added a few people. >> reporter: this wasn't always the case. in the 1990 0s, the father andn team watched them getting squeezed out of the market by cheap imports.
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they had to adapt to survive. >> we made a major decision which almost put us out of business but it was the right decision. we said we're not going to compete with asia. this is not for us. we're going to be unique, high quality, high end. >> reporter: the kind of products affluent chinese customers are increasingly shopping for. did you imagine that you'd be selling it back to china? >> never, never. >> reporter: over the last few decades, china has conquered the u.s. market by making products cheaper than anyone else. but now american companies are turning the tables and making inroads there by doing just the opposite, by making high-end handcrafted items just like this. to be sure there is still a large gap, the u.s. trade deficit with china hit another record in 2011 with the value of chinese imports rising to almost $400 billion. but u.s. exports to china are also hitting record highs. >> china is now our third largest export market. and i don't think a lot of americans realize that. >> reporter: in fact, since the year 2000, 47 states have reported at least triple-digit export growth to china. including minnesota.
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the home of red wing shoes. >> china exports red wing shoe company have really taken off in the last five years. >> reporter: for red wing, the key is quality control. it says chinese-made products just don't measure up. >> the boots don't last as long. we are known for our leather. it's just a higher quality leather that's appreciated by that chinese customer. >> reporter: back in new york, fashion designer patrick ervel says his growing chinese fan base looks not only for quality but designs they can't find at home. >> now there is a bit of a cache, not just an american designer, but if you're manufacturing here, especially in menswear. >> reporter: why? >> just this idea of made in america, i think, has become interesting for customers, especially in asia. >> reporter: there are down sides. counterfeit red wings are now being sold in china. not only that -- >> there are still market access barriers, investment barriers that keep out american companies. >> reporter: but as our three manufacturers have found, a
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rising china can translate into rising sales. maggie lake, cnn, new york opinion. political dynasty, his father is the president of pakistan, and his late mother was the country's first female prime minister. well, now zardari is stepping up the political arena. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
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tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. another story we have been following, it is heartbreaking. the young woman in india who was gang raped on a public bus. she has been flown out of singapore for treatment, but doctors say her treatment is extremely critical. besides cardiac arrest, the 23-year-old medical student suffered significant brain injury and an infection in her lungs and stomach.
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meanwhile, another young indian whom who claimed she was gang raped last month has killed herself. police have arrested three suspects who were identified by the 17-year-old in a suicide note. two police officers have been fired, and a third has been suspended over allegations that at the pressured the teenager to recant her story. to many in pakistan, the name bhutto, synonymous with service as well as political power, benazir bhutto was assassinated. now her son beginning his own political career, this is him speaking at a rally marking the anniversary of his mother's death. the young bhutto told the crowd his family is here to stay. and as he put it, quote, kill one bhutto, another bhutto will emerge. isha sesay has the story. >> reporter: bhutto zardari launched his public political career in pakistan on thursday. five years to the day after his
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mother was assassinated. >> translator: my friends, i have seen a very difficult path. this path is the path to democracy. this is a path of tears of stones, of thorns, and this is the path my martyred benazir taught me how to walk. >> reporter: she served two terms as prime minister of pakistan and was herself the daughter of pakistan's leader in the 1970s. in 2007, she had returned to pakistan from self-imposed exile to run in the general elections. she was killed at a campaign rally. her son was picked to lead her party. >> i am thankful to the cc for imposing their trust in me as chairman of the pakistan people's party. >> reporter: but he was just 19 and studying at oxford. her husband was co-chairman of the party. he ran for president and won. now her son, at age 24, has given his first major speech at
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the family shrine. and his father seemed proud to launch him into political life. >> translator: his education is finished, and his training has begun. he has to stay with you, with the workers. he has to learn with you. he has to learn about pakistan, learn how to work with you, learn your thinking. >> reporter: he's still too young to run for office but will likely be a figurehead in the general elections, expected within a few months. isha sesay, cnn, atlanta. and the family of nelson mandela is speaking out. >> our grandfather is great. he's doing very well. >> after rumors that mandela was close to death, family members now setting the record straight. [ nyquil bottle ] you know i relieve coughs, sneezing, fevers...
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>> so nadia, it's really -- it's rare that we actually get a chance to see his granddaughters. i imagine that they wanted to talk to you. you have a relationship them. that they really wanted to get out there, the truth, because there were so many rumors that were swirling around their grandfather's deterioration. >> so many rumors. i can't tell you how many times i've been called and said, have you heard mandela's dead? which was not true. and i asked them about the speculation that he was being
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released from hospital because there was nothing more that could be done. so here was their response to those rumors and speculation. >> it's important for people to remember that, you know, he is 95, after all. and that, you know,nce in a while, he needs, you know, medical care, medical attention. you know, we're very grateful because, you know, he's surrounded by the best medical team, you know. he's very well taken care of, and he's very comfortable, and he's very happy. >> nadia, it's very clear their love for their grandfather. i had an opportunity just a couple months ago to visit south africa and to talk with a lot of people. and it seems as if people still, to this day, feel that he is really the father and the leader of the country in some ways. did the granddaughters talk about what their country might be look after he is gone? >> reporter: and you're so right about this global reference and real global icon and treasure. but i did say to them, what happens when your grandfather is
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no longer physically with us? and they said that south africa will be fine. i mean, there will be enormous amounts of mourning, and it will be great loss, but he's been responsible for creating a country stable enough to cope with his loss. and that the younger generation which included people like the granddaughters would carry his torch. so suzanne, i hope i'm sitting on the couch with you again on july 18th for his 95th birthday. >> that would be very nice. i would certainly hope that happens. nadia, thank you very much. i appreciate it. and if you want to see more, tune into cnn's "early start weekend" for nadia's full interview with mandela's granddaughters. that's tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. eastern. and u.s. army general whose temper earned him the name stormin' norman has died. general norman schwarzkopf was one of the most celebrated leaders in the post-vietnam era. he led forces in kuwait after "operation desert storm."
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the retired general died yesterday in tampa, florida. president obama says the country has lost an american original. he was 78 years old. in the philippines, at least 11 people are dead after a tropical cyclone slammed the central part of the country. the storm brought heavy flooding, landslides as well. two people are still missing. now, earlier this month, more than 1,000 died when a typhoon swept through that very same area. the florida man known as the dinosaur smuggler could face 17 years in prison. eric pleaded guilty to illegally buying and selling dinosaur skeletons and then slipping them by u.s. customs. sentencing is scheduled for april. the bones are being returned to their country of origin. this is the most-watched singing contest in europe. it's got the glitz, the glamour, but -- >> it costs to perform, and it costs to stage it. and what do you get back? bluntly, you get a bunch of
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hoopla and a few pom-poms. >> wow. what some european countries on the verge of bankruptcy, many feel participating in the contest, well, strikes the wrong chord. through diet and exercise, alli can help you lose one more by blocking some of the fat you eat. let's fight fat with alli. ♪ i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter. no prescription needed. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok.
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the tax increases and the across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect in just four days are not just causing concern here in the united states. what happens here, a major effect across the global economy. i want to bring in richard quest to talk a little bit about the fiscal cliff, the fiasco as well as the debt ceiling debacle. richard, how is this playing out? we understand richard is not here. we're going to talk to richard a little later about this. eurovision, a singing competition, a lot like "american idol." it's popular, trendy, everybody's watching it. it launched the careers of abba and celine dion. now the radio show which is paid for by the countries that participate in it, it's now in trouble. the economy is to blame. here's our reporter. ♪ >> reporter: cheesy music.
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kitsch costumes. ♪ and national stereotypes. ♪ for 58 years, the eurovision song contest has united europeans in a celebration of music and at times laughter. ♪ but as countries struggle to meet budget targets, frills are starting to take a back seat. portugal, poland, slovakia and boz that herzegovina say they're pulling out of the competition because they can't afford to win. the czech republic and greece are also reported to want out. >> it costs to perform, and it costs to stage it. and what do you get back? bluntly a bunch of hoopla and a few pom-poms. it can be uplifting when the times are good. greece won it in 2005, but is it appropriate for the greeks to pump millions or billions in?
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i think austerity is one reason. but i think also the tone is another. is it right to be celebrating in spandex when your people are out on the streets? >> reporter: looking at some of the countries' economic scorecards, it's hardly surprising. greece is aware that taking part could be an issue. especially as its economy is expected to drop to minus 4.5% next year. portugal, meanwhile, is expected to shrink 1.8%. and poland and slovakia have decided to spend their money on other projects. that's despite projecting positive growth for 2013. ♪ it reportedly costs around $160,000 to take part. and if you win, some countries spend big to host the lavish event. for some national broadcasters, this is reason enough to pull out. >> the cost of staging has been mounting in recent years. russia put on the beijing of song. it was like the chinese olympics. azerbaijan last year pumped out
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their national output on the stage. they were competing to show off to europe, look what we're like from the east, the former soviet republic. ♪ >> reporter: there's a lesson to be learned from previous eurovision winners. in budgets and costumes, less is often more. ♪ the rules of the game >> reporter: cnn, london. all right. i want to go back to richard quest in london to talk a little about the fiscal cliff and the global impact if we end up going off of it. richard, i want to ask you first, are you one of those fans of eurovision, that show we just saw there? >> reporter: of course! it's part of -- it's in the dna of europeans to hate, detest and loath it and love it at the same time. on another occasion when we haven't got more serious matters to deal with, i will happily give you a couple of renditions of famous euros. >> please, tell us what's going on because clearly a lot of
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folks worried about it. is it a global issue? >> absolutely. the fiscal cliff will affect the u.s. economy. the u.s. economy affects the global economy. "a" equals "b" equals "c," and you see how it happens. there's another one as well. this is what you've got. you've also got the debt ceiling debacle which is nestling and now a cloud is coming in. starting with the fiscal cliff. it is so complicated and confusing, boehner saying the senate must go first. harry reid saying the u.s. is going over the cliff. consumer confidence numbers are down. markets are roiled, and it's not surprising people are worried. but now factor in as tim geithner said that the debt ceiling would be reached by the end of the year. $16.4 trillion. extraordinarily measures. now, what does extraordinary measures mean? suzanne, i'll tell you. it means literally robbing peter to pay paul. shifting the money around.
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so that you can actually keep paying the bills before you hit the ceiling. all in all, i can't remember an end of a year, suzanne, when we've had two so serious issues affecting the u.s. economy all at the same time. >> it is worrisome. i wonder, richard, do we have any sense of how the markets, the global markets, are even reacting to the potential, the possibility that we'd go over the cliff? >> reporter: yes. at the moment, it is quite clear they are holding their nose from the stench of politics, and they are believing that politicians will do the right thing. i was talking to one u.s. congressman today. in fact, you must have talked to senators and congressmen, and everybody says the same thing. in the final analysis, the right thing will be done. both on the cliff and the ceiling. the problem is, a lot of damage can and will be done before it takes place.
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and there's always the very real risk, as we saw last year, in the ceiling crisis, as we saw with t.a.r.p. three or four years ago when the house didn't pass it. there's always the risk of an accident on the way to the church, as they say. ouknow what happens then. so put it all together, and you end up with a very precarious situation at a time when the global economy -- >> richard, let me ask you this. what would happen if the credit rating was downgraded again? how do you suppose european markets would respond? >> i think to -- i think as oscar wild, to paraphrase it, to lose one "a" to lose two "as" would be regrettable. i'm sure some viewers will correct me exactly on that. but to lose the first day was
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not that significant. it was basically the ratings agencies being grumbling and unpleasant, or at least one of them. if it came to losing a second one or a slight notch down or a plus or a minus or whatever -- >> right. >> -- that would be sending a very serious tone. that would be saying hang on. the u.s. potentially has a dysfunctionality in its budget process that even a real crisis can't deal with. now, we're a long way from that. and i'm not suggesting for one moment, but it's something to bear in mind as we go -- or as you go -- we all go over the cliff. >> yeah. holding our noses, hoping for a deal at least to avoid that. richard, thank you very much. appreciate it. they are unlikely heroes of world war ii. >> they were over 1 million pigeons enlisted in the second world war. all of them played a part in the war, and they saved many lives in some heroic acts. so it's a story that should be told, and it needs to be
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shouted. >> and it's actually the skeleton of one pigeon that has created a mystery. it carried a secret message. wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you? [ nyquil bottle ] dude! [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
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a real-life military mystery has historians scratching their heads in london today. they're all looking at a little piece of paper and a bird that died more than 70 years ago. here's our nic robertson with the story. >> reporter: the secret wartime
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coded message that seems tantalizingly close to being cracked. >> this one message has made more people interested in the pigeons during the war than anything we've ever had before. >> reporter: found by pensioner david martin by his fireplace. attached to the leg of a dead pigeon. >> all we've got here is the breast bone which is the first piece that came down the chimney. we then have the pigeon's head. then the last thing that came down is this one with a red capsule on it. >> reporter: a world war ii homing pigeon carrying a secret message that didn't make it home. >> we made our own codes, and clearly they're still very good today. >> reporter: a mystery wrapped in an enigma, shrouded by time. >> scientists really haven't quite worked it out, but they say some go by the magnetic fields, even found their way back to the lofts.
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>> reporter: jeremy davis knows pigeons, raises them. >> basically, they're athletes. with the wind behind them, they can get up to 90 miles an hour in some cases. but they usually average about 50 miles an hour. >> reporter: not just fast but far. in a day flying six, seven, even 800 miles. but how the bird with the message went missing, anyone's guess. >> basically could have gone and rested on the chimney and then got blown down the chimney, you know. it just sort of got a bit tired and slipped. yeah. >> reporter: at the heart of britain's wartime code breaking was blechly park. now it's a museum. >> they were from probably one or two sources. either from an agent working behind enemy lines inside occupied europe.
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>> reporter: or from front-line forces, even bomber crews carried pigeons. colin hill tells this story about one avian hero, royal blue. >> he was on a halifax bomber, went down in holland. and he flew from holland in about four hours back to england. and they sent the plane out and picked the four crew up. >> they were over a million pigeons enlisted in the second world war. all of them played a part in the war. and they saved many lives in some heroic acts. it's a story that should be told. and it needs to be shouted. >> reporter: they didn't just carry messages but film, too. utterly indispensable, a vital part of the allied war machine. >> for the first four days, they were brought back with the pigeons because churchill said no radio to be used. >> reporter: almost all messages were coded. this message, 27 blocks of 5
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letters, may now be offering up some of its secrets. canadian researchers say it was sent by a soldier dropped behind enemy lines. a sergeant using a world war i code book reporting on german tank movements. >> the latest information that, yes, has to be checked, we understand the man who sent the message died in 1944. >> reporter: and that has lead to the rellization the mystery message could have played a role in the war's most decisive battle, the d-day landings. the more they learn, the more exciting the puzzle becomes. >> if it came from the d-day landings, which it looks like it did, yeah. a lot of lives were lost there. so yeah, it it would have been a very important message. >> reporter: but here thanks to wartime code makers, firm answers run out. britain's code-cracking experts today caution the canadians may yet lack the right codes.
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>> it's very likely that that sort of message we sent using a one-time pad or a code book, so unless you can find the code book with a one-time pad, it's virtually impossible to break. >> it's a message 70 years ago. it can't change anything. so that kind of aura of mystery, i think, it's just a nice way to end the story. >> reporter: still a mystery, but for how much longer? nic robertson, cnn, blecley park, england. when we return, a look at what is topping the global charts. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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welcome back to "cnn newsroom." when it comes to norway's music scene, here is what's topping the charts. ♪ that's where i had my first heartbreak ♪ ♪ i still remember how it all changed ♪ ♪ don't you worry ♪ don't you worry child ♪ see heaven's got a plan for you ♪ ♪ don't you worry ♪ don't you worry now >> this is the group swedish house mafia with their hit "don't you worry child." they're also topping the charts in their home country of sweden. the video has more than 38 million views on youtube. i'm suzanne malveaux.
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welcome to "cnn news room." the high-stakes meeting getting under way at the white house in just under two hours. the outcome could determine whether or not all of our taxes go up. president obama and congressional leaders with trying to come up with this last-minute deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the massive tax increases and spending cuts to take place in four days. the president and vice president will be meeting with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority leader harry reid, and minority leader mitch mcconnell. and watching all this, jessica yellin live at the white house. jess, what do we think is going to happen here? >> reporter: well, based on the expectations around town, the thought is the president and democrats will lay out an alternative, scaled-down proposal. and there will be discussions about what could be in the details of a proposal they could vote on, in theory, this weekend. the ideal outcome would be all
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the members agree to the terms of that deal. and then the two senators in the room agree that they can get their parties to bring it to a vote with no one filibustering it. and then on the house side, speaker boehner would agree that he will put it on the house floor for a vote on monday. and then it would pass in the house and in the senate, and it all gets done before new year's eve. that seems like an awfully heavy lift, but that is the best-case scenario at this point. >> worst-case scenario. >> reporter: stopgap measure itself, i should point out. >> sure. best-case scenario, we like that optimism. give us the worst-case scenario that possibly after this 3:00 meeting, they walk away with nothing. >> reporter: that is a real possibility. the other possibility, as we see things fold -- roll out in washington so often, we could see members come out and address the press and say, well, there are things we liked, we didn't like. we might. we might not. and it could just be a slow
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trickle over the weekend because, you know, nobody wants -- none of these leaders want to look like they're just giving up. so it seems far more likely that they will at least try to do something in the coming days, even if it seems doomed. and everybody is simultaneously posturing for public relations reasons while they're also trying to get this deal. >> yeah. i don't want to sound skeptical here, but jess, how much of this do you think really is for the public, public consumption that this looks good, it's very symbolic that they're all going to be sitting in the same room, and how much of it do you think is really behind the idea that perhaps there will be a breakthrough? >> reporter: well, there's a huge element of optics here. we all call on them to meet. why aren't the leaders meeting, right? we're always asking that question. then they do meet and we say, is this just for optics? there's always that double-edged sword in it. the bottom line is the principles generally don't work
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out the final details. it's their staffs that do. but if all of those people in that room can come to an agreement and, you know, give their word, then something could get done before new year's eve. but we have to keep in mind that what they're arguing over are the fundamental differences between the two parties, about the role of government in americans' lives, and that is why this has been such a hard deal to resolve. >> all right. jess, we're going to be keeping up with this because clearly this could be make a huge difference for everybody when it comes to our taxes. if no deal is made and we go over the cliff, it's going to affect almost everybody. tom foreman plaexplains how. >> everybody says here comes the cliff, here comes the cliff. it's not a sudden effect because it doesn't all happen at once, but it does happen, and some people will feel it absolutely more than others. remember, there are automatic mandatory cuts that will kick in in this circumstance and they'll hit many different departments. so, for example, if you are unemployed right now, benefits will stop for 2.1 million
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unemployed americans if we go over the cliff. and just as a point of reference here, if, in fact, they wanted to extend those benefits, that would cost about $30 billion, which is not a whole lot in the federal budget, but nonetheless, this is a group that would fell the cliff and feel it fast. what about people traveling out there in the transportation department? $1 billion in cuts to mandatory spending in the transportation department. what will that mean? slower air travel and higher fares. and i'll tell you why. because there would be fewer air traffic controllers, customs officers, security officers out there. that means fewer people to process you through the airport, your luggage and everything else to get you where you're going. and as that happens, they're going to have to have more overtime from the people who are there. that's what's going to run the cost up. that could also have an impact. here's the one that could touch virtually everyone in the country. go to the treasury department here. 100 million taxpayers would be unable to file until late march because they would not have as many people as they would
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normally have to process your tax returns. you know what's coming next? that also means a delay in tax refunds. the treasury department normally sends out about $72 million in tax refunds in january and february. that would not happen if the fiscal cliff comes. they wouldn't be able to keep up with the workload. and there would be unexpected higher taxes for most americans because remember, that's another part of the equation. so many different groups could be hit in many different ways at many times. but the bottom line is if these negotiations continue to stall and don't come through and the cliff comes, people will, indeed, feel it all over this country. u.s. army general whose temper earned him the name stormin' norman has died. general norman schwarzkopf was one of the most celebrated military leaders in the post-vietnam era. he led coalition forces pushing iraq out of kuwait in 1991's "operation desert storm." the retired general died yesterday in tampa, florida, at
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age 78. former president george h.w. bush released this statement. he says, "general schwarzkopf epitomized the duty, service, country creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises." a spokesman for former president george h.w. bush says, quote, put the hearts back in the closet, yes. gene decker says his boss is sick, but his condition is not dire. the 41st president remains in intensive care in a houston hospital. he has been in the hospital since november 23rd. in south africa, the granddaughters of nelson mandela say that he is alert and that he's doing well. the former south african president, he is back home after spending eight days in the hospital. >> it's important for people to remember that, you know, he is 95, after all. and that, you know, once in a while he needs, you know, medical care, medical attention. and you know, we're very grateful because, you know, he's
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surrounded by the best medical team, you know. he's very well taken care of, and he's very comfortable, and he's very happy. >> mandela was treated for a lung infection and underwent gallstone surgery. we're glad everyone is on the mend. heartbreaking development for hundreds of americans trying to adopt children from russian orphanages. well, today president vladimir putin signed a law banning all u.s. adoptions. why? the ban is considered a payback of sorts for an american law passed two weeks ago. now, that law puts financial restrictions on russians accused of human rights violations, bans them from also traveling to the united states. well, the u.s. is not happy about it, and it is letting president putin know. i want to bring in our elise labott in washington. the state department is responding. they're reacting to this. can they do anything? >> reporter: well, they're frantically trying to convince the russians, suzanne, that this is a bad idea and not to play politics with the lives of children who deserve a good home. the state department who helps
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u.s. parents try and adopt these children, help with visa and citizen issues issued a statement saying, the russian government's politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care. we are further concerned about statements that adoptions already under way may be stopped and hope that the russian government would allow those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join their families. suzanne, there are about 46 children already in the pipeline who have met their parents in the united states, have bonded with them. these parents are waiting to get them taken home. so the state department is at least hoping to resolve these cases and then trying to work with the russians on trying to get the ban lifted entirely. >> elise, what do they do? what do those families do in the meantime? what is the state department telling them to do while they wait to see whether or not these adoptions are actually going to go through?
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>> reporter: well, suzanne, all they can do right now is sit tight. the state department frantically working on it. it is trying to talk to the adoption agencies and trying to get those parents, trying to at least give them the latest information. there's not much they can do right now, but they are hoping that at least these cases could be resolved. there are some comments coming out of russia right now that those children might be staying in russia, put back into the adoption registry which is very concerning. but there are other cooler heads that the state department hole will prevail. there are some lawmakers, some ministers who are not happy about this bill, are worried that it could hurt relations with the united states, and they're hoping to lower the temperature a little bit. >> all right. elise, thank you so much. appreciate it. i had an opportunity to talk to a new jersey couple who are in the middle of adopting a little russian girl whose hiv positive. they promised her that they were going to come back and get her. well, now they are terrified that they are never going to see her again. we're going to have that
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interview in about 20 minutes or so. and also, could the dna of the newtown school shooting gunman provide clues as to what led him to carry out that massacre? some scientists actually believe that it could. ♪ you are my sunshine, my only sunshine ♪
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that a young gunman carried those guns into the school, one of the deadliest school shoot n shootings in history. we are talking about the school where 26 elementary school students and staff died. we're also talking about the gunman's home. that is where police say he killed his mother. and as we learned as well yesterday, scientists are also now studying the shooter's body. his dna. it's a long shot, but scientists are searching for something, anything, that might point to an explanation. the scientific community is split on whether or not that is actually a good idea. joining me from houston, dr. author bodette, a geneticist. and from boston, professor heidi tessenbaum at the university of massachusetts. doctor, i want to start off with you. you actually think that it would be good to study the dna of adam lanza, the shooter. what do you think you could learn from his dna?
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>> well, i think we know that some individuals have very strong genetic variations that can predispose to schizophrenia and violent behavior, aggressive behavior. it's not that we fully understand it by any means, but it seems to me only by studying these kinds of people will we eventually understand what is the role of genetics. and i think we have some hints that in some cases, at least, it's a very strong role and maybe one that could even be approached by some kind of drug intervention. >> i want to bring in professor tessenbaum because you disagree. you say that this is unsound science and potentially could lead to problems. why do you believe that there is not a value in at least looking at this gunman's dna? >> well, first of all, let me say that my heart goes out to all the people in newtown, connecticut. this was an horrific series of events. second of all, the major problem
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that i have as a geneticist is that it's impossible to gain much information with the sample size of one. so what you are looking at is one person's dna, and you're trying to say that it's different than other people. but you only have a sample size of one. >> would it be helpful, do you think, to look at the dna of other shooters of those from previous mass shootings? >> well, again, the problem is, we have probably less than five or even ten people that we're talking about. when studies -- accurate genetic studies are done on a whole population, we look for hundreds of different people, and you have to show a strong correlation with that. and the second problem would be what are we trying to look for? i mean, we're going -- the whole idea is you're going in with the notion of looking for something. and that is simply not the way science is done.
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science is done where you go in expecting things to be the same. we have a hypothesis. and then you try to disprove or prove something. and going in with a preconceived idea that we're going to see something is just not accurate, how science is done in a laboratory setting. >> dr. beaudet, i want to bring you back in to respond to the professor's concerns because clearly there is a danger here that if you did find something, if there was something that was in common with this young man and others, that people might be scapegoat, or they might take a look at the genetic components of different people and assume the worst where there is no propensity for them to kill. >> yes, i think that it's a very tricky area. and people could be stigmatized by having certain genetic variation. but people are stigmatized by having a diagnosis of schizophrenia as well. so we don't withhold the diagnosis of schizophrenia because it may stigmatize some
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people. we try to handle it in a compassionate way. i think that there are major changes in single individuals that you can see that are extremely rare that you almost never see in normal individuals that we can't interpret as having contributing to schizophrenia. there are many genetic deletions that are now well published as causing schizophrenia. and one among that group actually is also associated with relatively aggressive behavior difficulties. i think that we can learn a lot. i think that it will take time, but i think that we -- i think we're going to be sequencing everybody's genome, yours, mine and i think we will sequence the genome of these kinds of actors as well, and we may really be able to better help them. i mean, these are sick people. these are not evil people, in my opinion. >> all right. we're going to have to leave it there. doctor and professor, thank you very much. clearly just looking for some answers behind that horrific school shooting that occurred.
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one more thing today from the connecticut school shooting, authorities have in custody a woman in new york they say she tried to steal donation money by posing as a relative of one of the children killed in the massacre. the justice department says that noelle alba used her facebook account to trick people into giving her money she said would go to a funeral fund. well, some people did donate to the paypal account that she actually set up. watch what happened when a cnn producer actually went to her home. >> this says, this has your e-mail on it right there. this is about noah pozner's funeral. >> i never sent that. >> take a look at it, ma'am. it's got your e-mail all over it. and take a look at the second page. it gives your paypal account. and a bank routing that you say you set up. >> that's not my paypal account. i mean, i have a paypal account like that. >> but is that your e-mail? >> which one? >> it says right there.
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>> yeah, that's one of my gmails. >> it is your gmail account? >> yeah, my personal account. but i never set up any funds for anyone. >> you should know that the pozner family tells us that they're very upset by all this. >> but i never did anything to hurt them. >> who sent this e-mail out, ma'am? >> i never sent this e-mail out. >> uh-huh. >> i don't have a reason to send any e-mail out. >> noel alba is out of jail on bail today. investigation into an army day care finds dozens of employees had criminal records including at least one case of sexual abuse of children. i have, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus.
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on an army base in virginia,
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a parent's worst nightmare is coming true. two workers at a military day-care center have been arrested for assaulting a child. 30 other workers, we're talking about 30 people, have been taken off the job now after a review found that they have criminal records. barbara starr spoke with the mother of a toddler who was reportedly abused. barbara, this just doesn't get any worse than something like this. what happened? >> reporter: suzanne, it doesn't. we've spoken to this mother, and i have to tell you i've spoken privately to at least five other parents. very briefly. this began back in september when the child abuse allegations came out against several toddlers at the facility. they then find out at least 30 workers there had questionable backgrounds. the mother of one of the young children who was abused, alleged to have been abused by a child-care worker, talked about how little they told her right from the beginning about what was going on.
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i want you to have a listen to her story. >> all along, this first week when we were being sort of given piecemeal information, denied access to the videotapes, we were also being asked if we wanted to seek medical care for our child. >> reporter: medical care for what? >> for what, obviously. we wanted to understand and see with our own eyes since that evidence was available. >> reporter: so there was videotapes of the abuse, but the parents were not allowed to see that right away and see exactly what had happened to their children because there was a criminal case pending, and they didn't know until very recently about the 30 other workers at the facility. this young mother of two wanted her face shielded for two reasons. she was worried about her children's privacy, and she is worried that her husband, who is in the military, could suffer retaliation if they speak out about this. suzanne?
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>> it really is disgusting, barbara. you know, just the thought of this occurring. this case made its way all the way up to the president who reached out to the secretary of the army, pressing him to look into how these day-care workers with criminal records were hired. is this considered an aberration, or have they found anything where this is widespread? >> reporter: well, i have to tell you, army secretary john mchugh is very determined, we are told, to have a full investigation into this. he has ordered that everything be looked at. secretary panetta has ordered a look across the military child-care facilities. but it was unprecedented, suzanne, for president obama to pick up a phone, call the army and say, what is going on? i think the phone call from the president certainly has resonated around the pentagon. they say they're trying to get to the bottom of this and figure out how this all could have happened. >> and how many children do we think that were involved in this abuse?
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>> reporter: in this one case, right now, it's a handful, if you will. but what the parents are telling me is, they don't know if that's the entire story because the only videotapes to corroborate this are 30 days' worth of videotapes. the allegation is made on september 26th. the tapes go back one month. and they don't know what might have happened before that. suzanne? >> all right. barbara starr, thank you for following that story. appreciate it. meet a man who has taken a stand on the national debt by trying to pay it off himself. and a choice. h n take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference.
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hundreds of americans are devastated after hearing that russia has banned all u.s.
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adoptions. russian president vladimir putin signed that ban into law today. earlier today i talked to a new jersey couple who were trying to adopt a little girl from russia. 4-year-old natasia is hiv positive. and jenni and josh johnston were hoping to take her home in just a few months. >> we're probably smack dab in the middle of the process right now. we made a trip last month to visit little anastasia. we met her. she was informed that we were her parents. we were told her we were going to come back for her, and she said she'd wait for us. now we're in limbo. >> what was that like to meet her? how did you know that she was the one that you wanted to welcome into your family? >> we went there guided by the lord, and she was the one the lord put in front of us. we don't say no to the lord. >> jenni, can you tell me what you are going through now? if you are hearing anything at
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all about little anastasia? >> we haven't heard anything. i think there's just the rumors flying around. i get online to try and see what i can find out, but that's not helping. i'm just a wreck. >> how have you managed -- i mean, you have obviously have a beautiful family. you've reached out. how have you managed this time of uncertainty? >> we pray. we cry. we get cranky. i mean, my child's a half a world away, and i feel like any mom wouldn't be able to get through that very easily. >> the u.s. state department says it deeply regrets the adoption ban. it is calling on president putin to allow all pending adoptions at least to go through. and an unwelcome milestone in chicago. a shooting overnight became the city's 500th homicide of the year. police say a 40-year-old man was shot in the head outside a
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convenience store. no arrests were made. now, chicago has been struggling for decades to overcome an epidemic of gun violence. this year's homicide figures are 17% higher than last year. but it is still only about half the rate of 20 years ago. according to chicago police statistics, 943 homicides were recorded in 1992. for the second time this month, a man has been shoved to his death from a subway platform in new york. it happened last night in queens. police and witnesses say a woman who had been pacing and mumbling pushed a man in front of the train before running down two nights of stairs and into the street. surveillance video actually caught part of that. the woman is still on the loose, and the suspect in a fatal subway shove earlier this month is in custody, charged with second-degree murder. the music world is mourning the loss today of r&b singer fontella bass, best known for
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her 1965 hit "rescue me." ♪ rescue me ♪ or take me in your arms ♪ rescue me ♪ iant your tender charm ♪ i'm lonely >> the song became the first milli millionth selling album. she died from complications of a heart attack. she was just 72 years old. fixing the country's financial problems, president obama and kocongressional leade will meet this afternoon to hopefully avoid the fiscal cliff. one man in texas is not waiting for congress to act. he is doing his part to fix the country's finances and send a message as well. kyung lah has the story. >> reporter: in his unheated garage, 85-year-old garcia is working to fix the fiscal cliff. one can at a time.
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how much money have you sent the government? >> a little bit over $3,000. >> reporter: $3,197.88, to be exact. all tracked on a handwritten ledger. over the last three years, garcia has been paying the government $50 a month of his postal service pension and money from cans he collects. >> we're paying absolutely too much interest, too much interest. >> reporter: it really bothers you. >> it bothers me because it makes no sense. >> reporter: sense is something garcia's wife of 59 years thinks her husband could use. do you think he's crazy? [ speaking spanish ] >> uh-huh. >> reporter: call him crazy, but there's an entire federal office of bureau of public debt that collects money like garcia's. this office in west virginia was set up by president kennedy so citizens could pay down the national debt. this year alone, it's collected
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$7.7 million in gifts, about $90 million since it was established. but $90 million isn't that much, especially when you consider the federal deficit is $16 trillion and climbing. to retire the debt, every single american would have to pay $50,000. but garcia says you've got to start somewhere, especially when washington won't. the partisan bickering has bothered him since -- 1992. that's when garcia first wrote his congressmen, suggesting a formula to eliminate the debt. the depression-era kid and army veteran says he's giving back to a country that's given him so much, a sense of duty that's infectious. his daughter is now collecting cans at work. his grandson drives garcia to friends' houses just to collect more cans. garcia knows that his monthly money orders won't avert the fiscal cliff, but his priest says that's not the message garcia is sending to congress.
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>> in order to really solve the $16 trillion national debt, you have to sacrifice. >> reporter: politicians talk about kicking the can down the road. one american has decided that road has to end, and it might as well be here. kyung lah, cnn, san antonio, texas. one of the nation's biggest craft stores would rather pay $1 million a day than follow some of the rules of the affordable health care law. we're going to explain. but first, answers to your money questions. there's poppy harlow at the help desk. >> today on the "help desk," we're talking about taxes on the money you might make abroad. with me this hour, lynn ethicalethicaltlynnette cox. >> if i'm living joer seas, ha are the tax ramifications at home? >> you can also qualify for a foreign earned income exclusion
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on your taxes. this amount gets adjusted every year for inflation. right now for 2012, the figure is $95,100, so he's under that. he said $99,000 or less. he should be able to exclude most of that income. he should also look, though, at something else, which helps a lot of people who are working abroad. it's the foreign housing credit or exclusion that you can get as well. so if your employer is paying for your housing or paying you money to pay for your housing, can you exclude some of those costs from your income taxes as well. >> it's worth doing the legwork, right, david? >> i definitely think so, but he needs to speak with a qualified tax adviser to make sure he files this properly so he avoids any issues. >> of course. >> sometimes people think i'm living overseas. you absolutely have to file no matter where you live. you're taxed on your income worldwide if you're an american citizen. >> thank you. if you have a question you want our experts to tackle, upload a 30-second video to ireport.com. this is $100,000.
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on new year's day, a major
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retail chain could be paying more than $1 million a day for rejecting obamacare. hobby lobby opposes a key provision in the health care law, and it says that employers must provide workers coverage for contraceptives as the morning-after pill. lisa sylvester has more. >> reporter: hobby lobby is a chain of craft stores that started as a mom-and-pop shop in oklahoma city. it has grown to a $2 billion operation with 525 outlets across the country. but it is still privately held with a corporate culture rooted in the family's christian faith. the stores, all are closed on sunday. now the owners are in court over their beliefs. they're fighting the new federal health care mandate staunchly opposed to providing coverage for employee use of the morning-after pill which they say is tantamount to abortion. >> our basic point is the government can't put a company in a position of choosing between its faith and following the law. >> reporter: the case may sound familiar. religious institutions also asked for a similar exemption
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from providing contraception to its workers. >> during the health care legislation fight, there was a big division over who should get exempted. churches have always been exempted from this. but other religious organizations have not. early on, the fight went back and forth, and the administration finally said that religious colleges, universities, hospitals would be included in the exemption for religious groups to not have to provide contraceptives as part of the new health care law. >> reporter: but for-profit companies, even those with strong religious ties, have not been exempted by the mandate. hobby lobby's case is pending before the u.s. tenth circuit court of appeals, but the company is up against a deadline of january 1st when its health care plan kicks in for the new year. in less than a week, hobby lobby is facing incredibly stiff fines. >> yet the government is about to start imposing fines of $1.3 million a day -- i'm just going to repeat that -- $1.3 million a
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day are the fines that hobby lobby is facing from the government. >> reporter: the company's lawyers asked the u.s. supreme court to issue a temporary injunction to avoid those fines. on wednesday, justice sonia sotomayor who handles emergency appeals for the tenth circuit denied the injunction request, saying the applicants failed to meet the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief. the white house did not comment on the hobby lobby case. president obama has consistently said contraception is a private issue between a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss. we received a statement from the lawyers for hobby lobby, saying they will continue their appeal in reiterating that they do not have any intention of paying for coverage for the morning-after pill, but there's really no precedent for this, and it's not clear exactly how the irs will levy and collect these fines. lisa sylvester, cnn, washington. it's still going to be in the air, but a little closer to
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ground. shuttle "atlantis" will go on display at kennedy space center in florida. we're going to give you a sneak peek at the new home. with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions.
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talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast. [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. here it was on its final mission in july of last year. >> two, one, zero. and liftoff. the final liftoff of "atlantis" on the shoulders of the space shuttle. american will continue the dream.
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>> the retired space shuttle "atlantis" will still be in the air but not quite as high, elevated off the ground in its permanent home at the kennedy space center in florida. the new museum there is set to open this summer. but we're getting a sneak preview from our john zarrella. john, i love the hat. give us the tour. >> reporter: hey, suzanne. yeah, you're absolutely right. a sneak preview, a real opportunity to come inside to the museum as it is under construction here at the kennedy space center visitor complex. and if you and the viewers are asking, what's that behind me there? that's "atlantis." and it's in shrink wrap. 16,000 feet of shrink wrap to protect it from dust and debris. and it is, it's suspended off the ground. and this is the position it will be in when the museum opens in july. and the shrink wrap is going to come off in march of this year. and you'll be able to see inside the cargo bay and the different
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places on the shuttle. we have a couple of artists' renderings of what it's going to look like when this massive museum and facility is done. it's 90,000 square feet here, $100 million project to build all of this. and we have tim macy joining us. and tim is in charge of project development. and tim, i know that you left the one sidewall off when you brought the shuttle from the ten miles away and brought it over here, towed it in. now, it still had to be a tight squeeze. >> it was. you know, the width of the wall back there is only about 85 feet, and the wingspan, as you know, is about 82 1/2 feet. when she came around the corner that night, it was a pretty tight fit. it was almost called the ots that had wheels that allow it had to make a turn at 30 degrees. we backed it out, put it right on the spot, easy peasey, no problem. >> reporter: never a concern to get it in the door. >> on paper, never a concern. but i've got to tell you, there was a lot of relief and there were a lot of people very happy
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to see it when it got in. >> reporter: now, there are only three shuttles that actually flew into space at different locations around the country. this is going to be huge for this complex, bringing tourists here. >> sure. we need this kind of thing here because, again, what we're trying to do is tell the story, the past, present and into the future what manned space flight is all about. it will draw a lot of people because one of the things about this 90,000 square foot building is we are creating a theatrical display. this is not just in a shed someplace. you've seen it. it's all painted out, got great lights on it. it's going to be a real interesting display. >> reporter: tim, thanks so much for taking the time with us. and now, one of the things, suzanne, that tim and i were talking about was the fact that unfortunately for the visitors here or what any of the other shuttles, you can't touch them. you can't go inside of them. there will be walkways where you can get right up close to them, but they are national treasures. so just too many hands on them
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all the time would not be a good thing. >> yeah. >> reporter: you'll be able to see it up close, but you won't be able to go inside of it. >> yeah. i was going to ask you that, whether or not you'll be able to take a little tour of it. are there other things as well that you're going to be able to see? >> reporter: yeah. yeah, absolutely. in fact, right behind me over here, there's a location right here where there will be a hubble space telescope replica that will be suspended in this atrium area. you can see all that construction equipment down there. and there will be about 60 interactive exhibits for people to come and to use, you know, after they've toured the shuttle. so they'll have that as an option, too. >> i guess the hard hat gives you all access, huh, today to kind of walk around? that's pretty cool, john. >> reporter: all access. my all-access pass today. >> all right. thanks. good to see you. we look forward to seeing the display. game changers, history makers, amazing zings, nobody can argue that this year's
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presidential campaign, full of some unforgettable moments. we're counting them down. our top ten up next.
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tyeah, its the galaxy note ii.re great. you can do two things at the same time. you can watch videos and text. or you could watch the earnings report and take notes, like we're supposed to. so... can i get it?
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yeah. okay either of you put together the earnings report yet? yes, me totally. what? why don't you tackle the next quarter. you eat yet? polynesian? pu pu platter? yup! keep up the good work. i will keep up the good work. do more with the new samsung galaxy note ii. picking the top ten moments of an election year is like finding your favorite grain of sand on the beach. there are an impossible number of possibilities. catch phrases become boomerangs. >> if you got a business, you
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didn't build that. >> i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. >> when cast members stole the spotlight. >> i'm an american woman who uses contraception. so let's start there. >> almost like an etch-a-sketch. you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again. >> reporter: a fair number of moments ranging from ridiculous to inexplicable. >> i'm not going to shut up. it's my turn. >> i think it is called romnesia. >> if i were to coin a term, it would be obamaloney. >> reporter: so many moments, so much nonsense. but game changers too. moments that shook up the race or made history and made our top ten list. it was seen at the time as a proxy race for november. wisconsin's republican governor scott walker in a showdown with organized labor over budget cuts and collective bargaining power. turns out the end result was no bellwether for the presidential race. walker won. the first governor in u.s. history to survive a recall election.
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and another nod to a republican governor -- >> i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. >> reporter: new jersey governor chris christie's full on embrace of president obama for helping sandy ravaged new jersey came days before the election and had no noticeable effect on .presidential race, but some republicans think christie didn't have to be that effusive. they'll remember if his name pops up in 2016. >> if it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> reporter: from the say what category of entries comes a combo team. missouri senate candidate todd akin and richard murdoch of indiana. >> life is a gift from god. i think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that god intended to happen. >> reporter: republican dreams to take control of the senate in 2012 had dwindled throughout the year, but akin and murdoch
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pretty much shut that door in a couple of sentences. two words from mitt romney during the primary reverberated all the way through to november. the issue was his plan to prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers. >> people who have come here illegally won't be able to find work and over time those people would tend to leave the country or self-deport. >> reporter: the concept of self-deportation was not by itself responsible for romney's dismal showing among hispanics, but it surely greased the skids. also in the category of moments for which romney would like to have had a mulligan, there was this. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they're victims. >> reporter: romney called his remarks completely wrong. they also caused the deepest self-inflicted wound of the election. on the flipside -- >> he's going to be the next vice president of the united states. >> reporter: romney's vp day may
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well have been the best moment of his campaign. the selection of congressman paul ryan, excited conservatives in a way romney himself had not. how many moments are there in an hour and a half, the president lost all of them in the first debate. the pictures tell the story of a man who phoned it in, panicking his supporters, and providing an open ing for romney. and finally, the top three moments of the election best described as history-making politics. a supreme court decision upholding the constitutionality of obama care. and if that doesn't strike you as political, consider what would have happened on the campaign trail if the high court had struck down the president's signature first term achievement. >> at a certain point i've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same sex couples should be able to get married.
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>> reporter: the first president to endorse same sex marriage was a daily double moment, good politics aimed at an activist wing of his party base and most certainly history. and finally, the number one political moment of the year is easy during elections. >> cnn projects that barack obama will be re-elected president of the united states. >> we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions. and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. we are and forever will be the united states of america! >> reporter: cue the confetti and say good-bye to 2012 and all its moments, historical and hysterical. candy crowley, cnn, washington. taking inventory in a german zoo. we'll take you to pictures that are capturing our attention today. y setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors.
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just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. [ buzzing ] bye dad. drive safe. k. love you. [ chirping, buzzing continues ] [ horn honks ] [ buzzing continues ] [ male announcer ] the sprint drive first app. blocks and replies to texts while you drive. we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive.
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